wrestling / Columns

Csonka’s Top 27 Matches of November 2019: Cody vs. Jericho, Women’s WarGames, More

December 1, 2019 | Posted by Larry Csonka
Cody Chris Jericho AEW Full Gear

WELCOME back, back to the column that makes lists and hopes that you enjoy them. This week’s column will look back on the month of November 2019 and the top 27 matches I have watched for the month. I always hear a lot of people saying that they can’t decide what to watch because they do not have enough time to follow everything, so maybe this will help those of you short on time find some stuff to check out. Have fun, and always, thanks for reading. Also, if you saw matches from companies I do not regularly catch; feel free to share them with the others. The more wrestling we share, the more fun we can have. Thanks for reading! As always, consider this my play list of great matches, recommendations for the month. It’s wrestling, we love it and will disagree. The only rules are “have a take, be respectful, and don’t be a dick.”

* 27. From NJPW World Tag League 2019 (Day 11): EVIL & SANADA vs. Big Tom Ishii & YOSHI-HASHI [****]
* 26. From NJPW World Tag League 2019 (Day 10): EVIL & SANADA vs. Zack Sabre Jr. & Taichi [****]
* 25. From NXT UK 11.21.19: Alexander Wolfe vs. Ilja Dragunov [****]
* 24. From WWE Survivor Series 2019: Team Smackdown (Roman Reigns, Braun Strowman, Ali, Chad Gable, & King Corbin) vs. Team Raw (Seth Rollins, Randy Orton, Ricochet, Kevin Owens, & Drew McIntyre) vs. Team NXT (Tommaso Ciampa, Damian Priest, Matt Riddle, Keith Lee, & WALTER): [****]
* 23. From Impact Wrestling 11.19.19: Michael Elgin vs. Rich Swann vs. Moose vs. Tessa Blanchard vs. Daga vs. Brian Cage [****]
* 22. From AEW Dynamite 11.20.19: Jon Moxley vs. Darby Allin [****]
* 21. From NJPW Power Struggle 2019: Roppongi 3K vs. Suzuki-gun[****]
* 20. From Black Label Pro Slamilton 2: Violence Is Forever vs. Work Horsemen [****]
* 19. From NXT UK 11.14.19: Tyler Bate vs. Kassius Ohno [****]
* 18. From NJPW World Tag League 2019 (Day 2): Big Tom Ishii & YOSHI-HASHI vs. Jeff Cobb & Mikey Nicholls [****]
* 17. From NJPW World Tag League 2019 (Day 2): Minoru Suzuki & Lance Archer vs. Zack Sabre Jr. & Taichi [****]
* 16. From NXT TV 11.13.19: Mia Yim vs. Io Shirai [****]
* 15. From MLW Saturday Superfight 2019: Mance Warner vs. Jimmy Havoc vs. Bestia 666 [****]
* 14. From NJPW Power Struggle 2019: Tetsuya Naito vs. Taichi [****]
* 13. From ROH Unauthorized 2019: Rush & Dragon Lee vs. Lifeblood [****]
* 12. From WWE Survivor Series 2019: Pete Dunne vs. Adam Cole [****]
* 11. From WWE Smackdown 11.01.19: Adam Cole vs. Daniel Bryan [****]
* 10. From MLW Saturday Superfight 2019: Tom Lawlor vs. Timothy Thatcher[****]
* 9. From MLW Saturday Superfight 2019: Jacob Fatu vs. LA PARK [****]
* 8. From AEW Full Gear 2019: Jon Moxley vs. Kenny Omega[****]

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7. From NXT WarGames 2019: Team Ciampa vs. Undisputed Era [****¼]: They did a great job of playing to the WarGames formula and the Kevin Owens surprise came off really well and played off of the Raw angle when TUE attacked him, so it made sense. The match was extremely entertaining and broke own into a complete spectacle on a good way and gives Tommaso Ciampa, Keith Lee, & Dominik Dijakovic more momentum to go after TUE and their titles. The addition of Owens creates some interesting drama heading into Survivor Series, and the finish should also cause some doubt in Cole’s match in regards to him retaining. Overall this was great as they did a good job of making the two WarGames matches different enough from each other, and accomplished the job of presenting two on one show, which is not an easy task. I do think that the women’s match had higher and better emotional notes, where this one made up for that with pure chaos, but they both succeeded.

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6. From AEW Dynamite 11.20.14: Fenix vs. Nick Jackson [****¼]: This was a great balls to the wall opening sprint and a hell of a way to kick off the show. It also reinforces that I think the Lucha bros are more valuable long term as singles players than as a tag team. Just some great, innovative stuff and flawless execution to boot. The crowd was absolutely insane and into everything they did as well. Fenix winning also made the most sense, as he’s more experienced as a singles competitor. He’ll get the vast majority of the praise, and he deserves a lot of it, but Nick Jackson as a tag guy who hasn’t worked a singles in four years was also excellent, including so many little nods to looking for Matt and tags when he got in trouble to sell that part of his story.

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5. From AEW Full Gear 2019: Cody vs. Le Champion Chris Jericho [****¼]: This was a great match and the best thing on the show so far and I loved it. The work was great, the story was great, and they had me heavily invested and buying in throughout and never felt long. They had a lot to play with in regards to the stipulation and think they found a great balance and a finish that worked really well. Cody delivers on another story heavy match, which he’s excelled at. Plus, I am really interested to see where it goes from here. Now, MJF is free to be a spectacular asshole moving forward.

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4. From NXT WarGames 2019: Team Ripley vs. Team Baszler [****¼]: Ripley is such a star and is absolutely made after this as if she wasn’t heading that way anyway. This was a great and crazy match, with the babyfaces overcoming huge odds, including the heel turn of one of their teammates, a great emotional element to it and everyone in the match getting plenty of time to shine and deliver. The Kai heel turn felt obvious, BUT it came off really well here and felt like the right call for her going forward. The turn sets up Kai vs. all of her “teammates,” including Yim, and Ripley’s win sets her up perfectly for a title shot; the NXT women’s division continues to kick ass, and the match has more replay value in my opinion than the men’s unless you’re in the mode for a car crash over a more story driven match.

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3. From NXT TV 11.20.19: The Revival vs. Undisputed Era [****¼]: This was an absolutely great tag team match, as Undisputed Era continue to show why they are one of the best tag teams in the world. They worked so well tighter, with so much of the match coming off as effortless execution wise, and it went 25 and never felt long. Don’t let the Revival’s main roster booking cloud your judgment, these guys are still great and will deliver when given more than 10-minutes of TV time and felt back in their element here tonight. Thy also stepped out of their comfort zone, playing the de facto babyfaces here really well, adding to the success of the match. Make time for this match, especially if you love tag team wrestling.

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2. From NJPW Power Struggle 2019: BUSHI vs. Will Ospreay [****½]: I am generally not a fan of bullshit in matches as they tend to take away from what could be really good matches, but I felt that this was a rare occasion where it actually added to the match, got the crowd hotter and had them buying into BUSHI actually stealing the win here. The crowd was amazing, they delivered an excellent match and Will delivered again as BUSHI had his best effort here in forever. The match had tons of inventive stuff and some really dramatic moments down the stretch and exceeded all expectations.

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1. From NJPW Power Struggle 2019: KENTA vs. Big Tom Ishii [****½]: This is everything I wanted from this match, a dramatic hard-hitting brawl with KENTA being KENTA, Ishii delivering like he always does in big matches, and no bullshit at all. KENTA doesn’t need the Bullet Club bullshit to be a great and ruthless heel, I have said it for months and he proved that here. I thought that this was excellent, and not only was it KENTA’s best NJPW match so far, but after showing signs of it, actually felt like KENTA again. They also did a great job of making it feel that Big Tom could actually win the championship here.

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The 411 on Wrestling Podcast returns to the 411 Podcasting Network for episode 71. On the show, 411’s Larry Csonka talks to the Cubsfan about the world of lucha libre, Jerome Cusson joins the show for a look into ROH’s complete breakdown and decline in 2019, and finally, Steve Cook talks WOW – Women of Wrestling. The show is approximately 238-minutes long.

* Intro
* Background on the Cubsfan Covering Lucha: 2:55
* Who Are The Must-See Guys in Lucha Right Now For Casual Lucha Fans?: 6:35
* What Was With Flamita’s “Deal” With MLW & Then Signing With ROH?: 10:55
* What is Bandido’s Future in ROH/NJPW?: 15:55
* How Strong is the NJPW/CMLL Relationship Heading Into 2019?: 17:55
* Where Will Dragon Lee Officially End Up?: 20:35
* General Thoughts on ROH’s 2019: 23:45
* Steve Cook Discusses Season Two of WOW – Women of Wrestling/The State of Women’s Wrestling Heading Into 2020: 1:01:00
* Jerome Cusson on His Time as an ROH Fan, What Changed, & The Decline/Institutional Breakdown of the Promotion in 2019: 2:23:30

* iTunes
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* Stitcher
* Google Play

– End Scene.

– Thanks for reading.